Diary of a freelance writer: 23 March 2016

We’ve been running all over the place, attending appointments and interviews, some of them joint, some where I’ve waited in the car and either read or wrote. I’ve not cranked up many words, but at least there have been some words.

Wednesday 16 March 2016
Last Wednesday we had a joint meeting in the morning … that turned out to be for the following day (sigh!). The person on the phone had definitely said Wednesday because we had another appointment in the afternoon and the poet had told them we couldn’t do then so they said “how about that morning, then?” So that was a wasted morning.

We nipped home, had a quick dinner, then went out for the afternoon appointment in Leeds. The poet was on a business trip and I sat in the car. I wrote 293 words of notes and ideas for short stories and, when we came back, I wrote a 539-word blog post.

So the day was not entirely lost.

Thursday 17 March 2016
Thursday started much the same, with us dashing out for our 10am meeting, rescheduled from the day before. This time we were in the right place at the right time with the right paperwork and everything – although the lady we saw did seem a bit worse the wear for … something ...

The afternoon was spent catching up on admin and sharing the gig list. Then Thursday evening the poet had band practice. I didn’t do any shopping as we were going out for that another day. Instead I read.

Friday 18 March 2016
Friday morning dawned with another business appointment, this one over in Liversedge near Heckmondwike. This was a shorter meeting, though, so I only managed to do some reading work.

I didn’t manage to do much beyond admin or reading in the early afternoon, so as it was Friday, I gave myself the rest of the day off.

We had a very rare weekend off and pottered in the garden or did little jobs around the house that have been neglected.

I was able to pot 2 fruit bushes son #2 + g/f had bought for the poet for his birthday (in February!) and I weeded the patio. Then the poet fired-up the lawn mower for the first time this year and cut the grass.

We also enjoyed some much overdue retail therapy, which resulted in new camping gear for us and a new computer for the poet.

Monday 21 March 2016
Back at work Monday morning saw me doing all of the admin jobs again. I wrote a 550-word walking blog before backing up my system and then setting Windows 10 in motion for upgrade.

I had Windows 10 before but it crashed all of my Office 365 documents, including Word files I was in the middle of working on for clients, so I wasn’t very happy. With the new pc coming with Windows 10 already installed, they seem to have ironed out a lot of the bugs, so on Monday afternoon I went for it.

So far, so good …

Tuesday 22 March 2016
On Monday evening we were sent a text asking us to call one of the many offices we’ve been to in the past week, and when we called them back, they wanted more paperwork. So, first thing Tuesday morning we were back in town. These business meetings do cut the day in half!

When we got back I was greeted with an email from a magazine I’ve been trying to crack for 31 years. No, they still weren’t buying a story … but if I didn’t mind having a go at some suggested rewrites they’d be happy to look at it again … It was a no-brainer really, and the furthest I’ve ever got with this particular market.

Homework w/c 23 March 2016
So, I have that story to rewrite and send back, then I still have all of those short stories to write that I had to write last week, and I still need to get back to the fiction writing course. But at least there has been some freelance movement this week, in between all of the other stuff.

After only 2 last week, I have 5 throwaways this week, for October:

  • on 8 – 9 October there is something called the Much Marcle Big Apple in Hereford
  • 9 October is Siddington Harvest Festival Corn Dolly Display in Cheshire
  • 21 October is Apple Day
  • 21 October is also Trafalgar Day
  • 31 October is Samhain

What do these 5 things inspire you to write or find out? Do you want to write a short story or an article?

  • What on Earth is the Much Marcle Big Apple? Could this be a feature on various weird and wonderful customs around the country? Or a travel feature on Hereford?
  • What can you find out about corn dollies? Are you already an expert in making them? Where do their origins lie? This could be a historical (I sound the H when I say historical, so therefore it’s preceded with an a) folklore feature or it could be a spotlight on Siddington or an interview with some of the people behind the festival. Or it could be a harvest festival feature or short story.
  • Lots of places do lots of things on and around Apple Day. Where are its origins? What are some of those customs?
  • Trafalgar Day could be a piece on Lord Nelson or his column or his birthplace or somewhere he lived. Or it could be a short story from the perspective of someone who fought alongside (or against!) him, or someone who had a romance with someone who did.
  • And Samhain, or Halloween. The short story magazines always like something set around this time of year. But it’s not all just about ghosts and ghoulies. What else can you find out about the feast? Or perhaps you’re already an expert. Are there any projects for the craft magazines?

Two of these are date-specific for 2016, but they’re all evergreens too, as in they happen every year. So do try to find a 2016 date-specific slant to encourage editors to use it this year rather than hold on to it forever.

And don’t forget to let me know how you get on if you decided to go for either of these ideas.


2 thoughts on “Diary of a freelance writer: 23 March 2016

  1. caro lwarham says:

    Busy as ever, i hope all things are going well. I’m still editing the novel, I’m really hoping this may be the last major edit, just leaving a few tweaks.
    We are both getting over nasty colds and a chest infection for John, so a bit gloomy here. 😦


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